Delta Air Lines gate in Atlanta
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Increased Security and Elimination of Fees for Delta Air Lines Buddy Pass Program

S everal fees will be eliminated from the buddy pass program of Delta Air Lines; while security enhancements will be integrated to the program via technology in order to increase the overall competitiveness and flexibility of the pass travel program of Delta Air Lines while providing its business with increased protection, according to an announcement which was released on Friday, May 19, 2017.

Increased Security and Elimination of Fees for Delta Air Lines Buddy Pass Program

Once the technology is in place in 2018, the following requirements are expected to be in effect pertaining to buddy passes:

  • Registration and Personal Identification. In an effort to improve the ability to identify and track people who use the buddy pass program and are not employees of Delta Air Lines, employees of Delta Air Lines will be required to pre-register buddy pass riders and “pass eligible dependents” with some form of personally identifiable information — such as a Social Security number or comparable government issued identification as two examples. This change is expected to provide a critical extra level of protection for the business of Delta Air Lines.
  • Payroll Deduction. Instead of a credit card payment, employee payroll deduction will be required for the purchase of both buddy pass and non-dependent travel to significantly increase the difficulty for the very few people who currently abuse the buddy pass program for their own gain.
  • Buddy Pass Accompaniment in Delta One. Buddy pass riders will need to be accompanied by the employee or a member of his or her pass rider list — for example, a spouse, domestic partner, travel companion, parent or child — in order to be seated in a Delta One cabin in order to help protect the continuing substantial investment of Delta Air Lines in its Delta One product.

Elimination of Fees for Pass Travel

Effective as of Thursday, May 25, 2017, the following fees will be eliminated in additional pass travel flexibility for employees of Delta Air Lines:

  • Annual activation fee of $50.00
  • Per flight day parent fee of $75.00 for S3B transoceanic travel
  • Yield fares for travel companions


A better mobile experience is being developed to closer emulate the experience of customers at the official Internet web site of Delta Air Lines; and it is expected to be significantly improved over its current technology, as the new mobile software application program will make it easier to find, list and check in for flights right from a mobile telephone.

Delta Air Lines is attempting to ensure that its pass travel program “remains highly competitive across the industry and provides great convenience and flexibility” for its employees while simultaneously implementing proper safeguards to ensure lower susceptibility to the risks — wherever necessary — which can accompany such a program.

Delta Air Lines relaxed the dress code several years ago for passengers — including those who travel using buddy passes — but according to this document offered by Delta Air Lines back in 2011 which details the proper business etiquette when traveling while using a buddy pass:

Delta has a relaxed dress code for pass riders, including Buddies. The standard is based on respect — for our customers and for you. Delta trusts your good judgment when traveling on a Buddy Pass. Just remember, Delta has a relaxed dress code for pass riders, but that doesn’t mean a sloppy appearance is acceptable. You should never wear unclean, revealing or lewd garments, or swimwear or sleepwear on a flight. The relaxed dress code also applies for Buddy Pass travel on Delta Connection carriers.

Non-revenue pass travel is considered a privilege; but it is not without its problems and issues. For additional information about buddy pass travel, please refer to the following articles:

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

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